Qualitative Data group meeting minutes
Investigatory Conversation in College of Education on Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) March 21, 2005
Focus of discussion:
- What would we like to see happen in the College/University regarding CAQDAS?
- Do we want to review CAQDAS software alongside our research needs and propose the standardization of CAQDAS packages that will best serve our students and faculty?
- What support (if any) do you want for CAQDAS?
- What support can we ask the College of Education to provide?
- What assistance do we need from SSDL?
- Are there other people in the university who should be part of the conversation?
Background of Meeting Participants:
- The six staff and faculty gathered are all active in qualitative research and interested in using the software. Four have used software for coding qualitative data, but not all have used CAQDAS. Of those, only Catherine Schifter uses CAQDAS successfully (Nvivo). Erin Horvat has tried using HyperRESEARCH for data she is trying to analyze but has encountered problems that the software’s tech support cannot solve. (She wants to sort data by race, gender, background, etc., and be able to determine the nature of the different responses of each group.)
- Four of the five students gathered are collecting or plan to collect qualitative data for their dissertations and plan to use CAQDAS. Only Mary Roaf has used it the software (HyperRESEARCH).
Request of SSDL generated by this meeting:
- Formation of user group for qualitative researchers who use data analysis software
- Provision of training sessions on CAQDAS packages
- Purchase of site-licensing for this software
- Ask David Ford to bring our requests to the next SSDL meeting.
- Mary Herring will submit a notice to newsletters (Temple News, EdsUp, etc.) and listservs to alert qualitative researchers throughout the university who might be interested in participating in our conversation or contributing information. These notices will refer readers to a website which Ford will set up with information that Herring provides about our work. Interested parties will be referred to Herring’s email. We want to know:
- Who are the qualitative researchers? With which college or program are they affiliated? Are they are faculty, students or staff? (Software needs can vary).
- Which software packages have they used? What were their experiences?
- Would they use CAQDAS in a Temple computer lab or will they only use it on their own computer?
- Ford will set up the website to which the CAQDAS notices refer.
- We need help identifying the listservs. Departments which have qualitative researchers include education, anthropology, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, dance, music therapy, arts, SCAT, political science, business. We need help in identifying contacts in these and other departments who will connect us to their qualitative research networks.
- Catherine Schifter will contact Ken Bruscia (music therapy prof) who coordinated Temple’s conference on qualitative research last spring to see if we can get a list of attendees, which we will then contact.
- Create a database of Temple’s qualitative researchers. Who should do this?
- Create a compendium of courses offered on qualitative research throughout the university as another vehicle for collecting data about researchers’ needs for CAQDAS and to alert them to the resources we are hoping to provide. Addendum: See this 2002 list from the School of Mass Communications: http://www.temple.edu/mmc/about/courses_nonmmc.html
- Ask Computer Services to hold a “software event” for the demonstration of several CAQDAS packages. Use the same data (including types that have proved problematic our CAQDAS users) for each package so that we can compare how the programs handle the data. Who should authorize this request? Who should work with computer services?
Other ideas and concerns generated by meeting:
- Can CAQDAS be used for analyzing macro systems, the focus of work in the Adult and Organizational Development program? This work has a higher level of abstraction more comparable to anthropological or historical analysis.
- Can CAQDAS can be used for cross case analysis?
- How do you determine when the problem you have encountered is a software glitch?
- Should we look for software with video capability? One participant said Sarah-Kate Lavan does this type of work and said there will be increasingly more work with video by qualitative researchers.
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